Church Health – Structures of Servanthood

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Article by Teresa Chang

If Jesus Himself came as a servant (Philippians 2:7), what does that mean for us as church leaders? We never reach some lofty spiritual level where we are no longer called to serve.

How do you build servant ministries within your church?

1. Model servanthood as a church leader.

The first step in building structures of servanthood in your church is making the servant heart visible on multiple levels within the church, from the core outward. Begin by letting the church see how important servanthood is to you personally. Model what true service looks like.

The congregation needs to see its church leaders being servants. When the church sees how much you value servanthood, it will open their hearts to respond in a similar manner.

2. Raise up servant leaders.

Building servant ministries has a lot to do with the servant leaders you are raising up—men and women who have the gift of servanthood evident in their spiritual gift-mix. One way to discover these people is to present your church with opportunities to serve and see who responds. Pull these people aside, pray with them and put together a core servant team. These people will be your deacons and can help oversee and run the church so it will have greater health and impact.

If you are able to have multiple teams for each kind of ministry your church offers (more than one team of greeters, ushers, children’s church workers, etc.), you can give people the chance to serve by rotating teams.

3. Train your servant leaders to raise up other servants.

Create opportunities for growth at deeper levels of servanthood for those who are called to serve in the church life-long—that is, it is their passion to serve the body long term and they are wired for it. In the concentric model of church leadership, people can grow in the servant calling. A person can move from being just a helper who shows up and provides support on a regular basis to being part of a servant team, which is the next “level” of servanthood with a greater commitment. She could then develop to the next level—that of being a servant leader—and she could eventually become a servant overseer: a head worker or deacon who oversees four or five servant ministries.

It is vital that people who are called to servant ministry within the church are able to serve on a wide level. Help them grow and prepare them to raise up other servants in a way that displays the care and heart of Jesus.

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